"In their youthful days, they took each other as companions for life, and... this union, no less sacred to them than the tie of marriage, has subsisted, in uninterrupted harmony, for forty years, during which they have shared each other’s occupations and pleasures and works of charity while in health, and watched over each other tenderly in sickness."
Why I Stay Closeted In Asia (SLBF)
I denied it, as my father and sister begged me to.
I couldn't exaggerate to you how much my mother's face lit up, or how much I wanted, for a shameful second, for my lie to be true. I began to tell her a story, got into the groove, told it with what could be called pizzazz, or maybe just mercy. A monthlong fling with a Korean girl became a year ("I liked her; she had a cocaine problem"). Immediately she laughed with relief.
"I wouldn't know how to deal if you were, you know, that" she said.
The county where no one's gay. The 2010 Census of Franklin County Mississippi shows no same sex couples. (pdf). CNN videographer Brandon Ancil and human rights columnist John D. Sutter tried to determine if the census was wrong, and see if they could find gay men and women willing to speak about "what keeps them hidden." Video
Santa Fe officials are encouraging same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses, pointing out that the state doesn't need to pass a marriage equality law because New Mexico law already allows same-sex marriage.
"In this series of portraits I am using the format of traditional Catholic holy cards to represent butch, queer women and queer female-to-male transgendered individuals from history." Via Autostraddle.
"Y'ALLQUEERS BETTER BE ON YOUR BEST BEHAVIOR, I AM HERE WITH MY MOTHER AND IT'S HER FIRST TIME IN A GAY BAR SO YOU JUST STOP THAT HANKY-PANKY RIGHT THIS SECOND." [more inside]
Gaming made me - RPS writer Patricia Hernandez on how Fallout 2 shaped her world view, her politics and her sexuality.
During his tenure as George W. Bush's campaign manager and later as chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), Ken Mehlman helped push an anti-gay agenda which eventually led to legislation that banned same-sex marriage in 21 states. He came out of the closet in 2010. Since then, he's openly supported gay marriage. Now, his newest endeavor, Project Right Side, is trying to attract conservatives to the fight for marriage equality. He discusses the non-profit's goals in a WSJ editorial: Making the Same-Sex Case. [more inside]
However long it takes for a real victory to be certified—no matter what happens on Election Day, it will be too early to unfurl a "Mission Accomplished" banner—the once ragtag march of lovers has acquired an air of inevitability. Edith Eyde's prophecy is almost fulfilled: gays are more or less regular folk. All the same, many who came out during the Stonewall era are wondering what will be lost as the community sheds its pariah status. They are baffled by the latter-day cult of marriage and the military—emblems of Eisenhower's America that the Stonewall generation joyfully rejected. The gay world is confronting a question with which Jews, African-Americans, and other marginalized groups have long been familiar: the price of assimilation.—Love on the March by Alex Ross. [more inside]
"Look, goddamn it, I’m homosexual, and most of my friends are Jewish homosexuals, and some of my best friends are black homosexuals, and I am sick and tired of reading and hearing such goddamn demeaning, degrading bullshit about me and my friends." - Merle Miller.In 1970, two years after Stonewall, Joseph Epstein wrote a cover story for Harper’s Magazine, Homo/hetero: The struggle for sexual identity, that came to chilling conclusions: "I would wish homosexuality off the face of this earth." His incendiary language prompted author/journalist/writer Merle Miller to come out of the closet in the New York Times Magazine, with an angry and poignant plea for dignity, understanding and respect: "What It Means to Be a Homosexual." 40 years later, that essay helped inspire the launch of the "It Gets Better" campaign. Via [more inside]
Queer Music Heritage is a sprawling website about the history of queer music. You can listen to twelve years' worth of monthly radio shows (link goes to the first year, 2000); take a look at the Queer Music History 101 overview; check out the extensive photo galleries in the female impersonators section; or read through the blog, which features interesting tidbits from gay musical history, like this overview of the Sissy Man Blues. [more inside]
Late last month, after vocally anti-gay evangelical author and blogger Jonathan Merritt's essay defending Chick-Fil-A appeared in The Atlantic, Azariah Southworth outed Merritt on his blog. An interview with Merritt about his sexual orientation. Follow-up column from Southworth: Why I outed a Christian star. [more inside]
On the same day that NJ governor Chris Christie announced that he has nominated an openly gay African-American Republican mayor to the state’s highest court, Washington state's legislature has announced that they have the votes to pass the same sex-marriage bill that the governor has already promised to sign. Washington will be the seventh state to have same sex marriages. [more inside]
Feel-good SLYT of the day: "So tell me what it's going to be like now that you two are going to be grandpas."
"I finally said, you know what, I'm going to tell my story. The first American injured in the Iraq war is a gay Marine. He wanted to give his life to this country." ~Eric Alva, 40, former Marine and veteran of Operation Iraqi FreedomTell: An Intimate History of Gay Men in the Military [more inside]
Going Straight: My Ex-Gay Friend Also: Living the Good Lie: Therapists Who Help People Stay in the Closet. (Both links NYT, via)
Earlier this week, the Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives asked Bradlee Dean to give the morning prayer. [more inside]
GLBT rights advocate Carolyn Wagner has passed away. In 1996, Carolyn's 16 year old son, William, was assaulted in his school in Fayetteville, Arkansas, following years of anti-gay harassment. School administrators rebuffed his complaints, telling him to man-up. His mother, Carolyn, filed a complaint with the Office For Civil Rights that the Fayetteville Arkansas School District was in violation of their son's Title lX rights and succeeded in convincing the OCR that GLBT students are covered by Title lX, and won. [more inside]
Fort Worth city councilman Joel Burns shares his own anti-LGBT bullying story before Fort Worth city council this past Tuesday. [via Victory Fund] This is yet another successful video of Dan Savage's It Gets Better campaign. [previously]
None On Record - Stories of Queer Africa. After the brutal 2004 murder of FannyAnn Eddy, founder of the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association, native South African Selly Thiam decided to start recording the stories of African GLBTs both on the continent and in the diaspora. The result is a growing oral document of "the hopes, struggles, challenges and joy of being a QLGBT African - in their own voices". [more inside]
Unicorn Booty features gay-friendly North American businesses who buy a day to be featured with their own custom YouTube video, social media presence, and the opportunity for readers to win or obtain their products at a discount. 10% of their profits go to a different LGBTQ organisation per quarter. Past businesses featured include travel companies, cycling clothing, and grooming products dedicated to gay people.
"Homer, I won your respect, and all I had to do was save your life. Now, if every gay man could just do the same, you'd be set."
Americans' Acceptance of Gay Relations Crosses 50% Threshold - To try to figure out why, NYT columnist Charles M. Blow taps sociologist Dr. Michael Kimmel and Professor Ritch Savin-Williams, who offer three hypotheses as to what may have lead to the surprising changes and what remains of the gender disparity in attitudes. [more inside]
The Florida Family Policy Council, a conservative Christian organization, sent out an alert to its members about judge’s ruling to allow a lesbian couple to adopt a relative’s child that they had been fostering. It included an image that was purported to be of the couple. It wasn't. [more inside]
Though the District of Columbia just welcomed its first same-sex married couple under its new marriage equality law, neighboring Virginia is dealing with the possibility of further restrictions to GLBT residents. The newly-minted state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is advising (read: instructing) Virginia's public colleges and universities that, because the state assembly has refused to add sexuality to its classes of discrimination, that for public colleges and universities to use discrimination policies which include gays and lesbians would be beyond their authority. Gov. McDonnell rescinded previous executive orders from Govs. Kaine and Warner in order to remove sexuality from the list of discrimination protections, but today responded to the controversy by directing state agencies not to discriminate against gays. And it all has something to do with Fortune 500 Company Northrop Grumman.
Anyone who was moved by Zelda Rubinstein's performance as the eccentric medium in "Poltergeist" will be dismayed to hear that she is seriously ailing. What you may not be aware of is her role, first in Los Angeles (way back in 1984), and later internationally, in gay rights and AIDS education advocacy. [more inside]
Yesterday, US President Obama signed a $680bn military policy bill, which cuts military spending, including $2bn in funding for new F-22 fighter jets. However, the bill also contained the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation, and fulfilled an Obama campaign promise: acts of violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have now been added to the list of federal hate crimes.
Are the ties that bind gay men to straight women beginning to fray?
The latest tool to challenge homophobia: same-sex hand-holding. This past weekend, a same-sex hand-holding relay was held in London, to coincide with Olympic-related events. It's not just for gay and lesbian couples; sympathetic heterosexuals are encouraged to join in and take a stand, or rather a stroll, for tolerance.
In the heart of Greenwich Village, New York City at 1:20 a.m. on Saturday, June 28, 1969 eight New York City police raided a gay bar, the Stonewall Inn (later deemed a National Historic Landmark). "As the police raided the bar, a crowd of four hundred patrons gathered on the street outside and watched the officers arrest the bartender, the doorman, and a few drag queens [see: police arrest reports]. The crowd, which eventually grew to an estimated 2,000 strong, was fed up."* Thus began three days of rioting and the advent of the modern gay rights movement. In honor of the Stonewall Riots, many gay pride celebrations around the world are held during the month of June, including this week(end)'s NYC Pride, celebrating 40 years of Stonewall's impact on seeking to bring civil rights to all, including the LGBT community. Happy Pride! [more inside]
What with all the changes lately, sometimes I'm not sure where my right to marry whomever I want to has been ensured. Can I Marry Gay? is a handy reference with state by state information, and keeps me up to date. Worried about recent state Supreme Court decisions forcing you to join teh gay? Must I Marry Gay? is for you. [via mefi projects]
"Oh, lord love you, Stephen. How I admire your arrogance and rage and misery. How pure and righteous they are and how passionately storm-drenched was your adolescence."
Long before becoming a national treasure and celebrity Twitter addict the 16 year old Stephen Fry sent a letter to his future self, to which he has now responded, in a letter first published in the 25th birthday edition of Gay Times.
Within the last few hours, a trend on Twitter has emerged in response to Amazon's removing the sales ranking of books they consider to have "adult content," which also keeps those books from appearing in search results. However, while seeming to unilaterally de-list any books with gay themes and characters, many books with adult heterosexual content were left untouched. [more inside]
Mercedes Allen looks at who's in charge of deciding the fate of Gender Identity Disorder in the DSM-IV. The APA (American Psychological Association) has announced it's intention to revise the DSMV (Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). The expert they've named to chair revisions on sexuality and gender is Kenneth Zucker. Zucker is the major remaining proponent of Reparative Therapy for LGBT folks. [more inside]
In 1974 - or 1976, depending who you ask - Armistead Maupin began writing "an extended love letter to a magical San Francisco” in the form of a serialized, fictional drama published originally in the Pacific Sun, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner, originally called "The Serial" which then became collectively known as Tales of The City. It is a suprisingly beautiful, deep, emotional, cosmopolitan and lasting tale about life in San Francisco in the turbulent, heady days of the 1970s and 1980s. Widely credited with and cherished for helping spread a little of the openess, tolerance and acceptance that San Francisco is now famous for. It then became a series of books - Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You - and lastly, the spin-off tale of Michael Tolliver Lives. Almost exactly twenty years after first publishing, it then became an excellent miniseries from the United Kingdom's Channel 4, which aired in the United States on PBS, but not without protest or limitations. [more inside]
People with a History is "an online guide to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans history." Ranging from the first stirrings of civilization to the modern day, People with a History gathers together original sources and academic articles dealing with queerness throughout history. To give you a feel for the wealth of material on the site, here are a few pages that caught my interest: The Vikings and Homosexuality, Coptic Spell: Spell for a Man to Obtain a Male Lover, an acount of a gay marriage ceremony described by Michel de Montaigne, But Among Our Own Selves (an 18th Century gay ballad), a chapter from The Life of St. Theodore of Sykeon, a 7th Century Byzantine monk and bishop, which mentions adelphopoiesis, or the rite of brothermaking, Wu Tsao, 19th Century Chinese lesbian poet, and finally Polari: The Lost Language of Gay Men.
The NY Times looks at the decline of gay meccas. The GLBT Historical Society of San Francisco has held several discussions about the Castro district. A shift in values, gentrification, and violence are named as factors in the "de-gaying" of the Castro. The area's famed Halloween party has been canceled and revelers told to stay out. What will happen to this gay destination?
Up for consideration is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has been written to provide a comprehensive Federal prohibition of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Last week, Barney Frank released a Statement saying that it is a mistake to continue seeking inclusion of "gender identity" as part of the Act. Or to put it in other words, there'd be protections for only the "GLB" part of the larger "GLBT community". [more inside]
workplace protection--not as hotbutton as Marriage Equality or Don't Ask Don't Tell, but far more essential
ENDA House hearings start tomorrow --a record 94% of Fortune 500 companies now provide Sexual Orientation Discrimination Protection, and 89% of Americans polled believe Homosexuals should have equal rights in terms of job opportunities. Repeatedly introduced and then killed since 1994, the 2007 version--H.R. 2015--Employment Non-Discrimination Act (text of bill)--includes transgender protection for the very first time. The TVC is just one of many organizations fighting it. (there is a religious exemption, but groups like the TVC would be covered by it)
As Wolfdaddy put it last time we did this: "Yeah, like we didn't know that already." - So as the Glass Closet gets a tad smaller, might we be rapidly approaching that long hoped-for "tipping point" where those inside the glass no longer feel the need to play word games and dance around who they are, instead of standing up to be counted?
Speaking of the White House Egg Roll... The GLBT organization Family Pride plans to once again fill the annual event with hundreds of gay and lesbian families. What many welcome as a rare opportunity to be included as legitimate American families in a historic national tradition is seen by opponents as the crude politicizing of a children's event.
Gay? Looking for a place to Live? The Advocate has just published their first-ever list of "Best Places to Live for Gays and Lesbians.” Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Ferndale, MI; Ithaca, NY; Lexington, KY; Missoula, MT; Portland, OR; San Diego, CA; Santa Fe, NM; and Tuscon, AZ. Pack your bags!
Does that make him the murderer, or do the homemade curtains reduce him to the level of the child molester?
The Way We Are: David Sedaris makes coffee with tea while ruminating on identity
Second thoughts on gays in the military by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Shalikashvili. (NYT link; do the Bugmenot thing if you need a username and password.) M/I
“Treating you with respect and honesty are the cornerstones of our reputation.” --unless you're gay, that is, for a Houston landscaper. Step 1: Turn down 2 gay customers. Step 2: Watch furor ensue. Step 3: Profit (to the tune of $40,000 in new business)
NJ says yes to same-sex marriage! (altho it might not be called that in the end) -- link to pdf of ruling here.
Openly Gay Soulforce Activists in Minnesota, U.S., attempt to enlist in the Minnesota National Guard because they wish to serve, but are rejected or have their applications put on hold. Here are some local news reports (beware possible sound-enabled ads). Should the U.S. policy change?
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